On our last evening in Utah, we went to my parents' house for a little pre-birthday celebration (since my birthday would be happening somewhere in South Dakota). Kelli picked up some cupcakes from a place called The Sweet Tooth Fairy (or something like that, I think). She got an assortment of cupcakes, including some individually-wrapped gluten-free cupcakes for herself.
They were very yummy!
My mom had the brilliant idea to take a group picture at the start of the evening—when everyone was (1) present and accounted for, and (2) relatively happy. My dad has a tendency to get peopled-out and sneak away, but we wanted to make sure he was there for the pictures. And goodbyes can get ugly and weepy. A third benefit was that we wouldn't end up forgetting to take them!
Here's Phoebe giving Naanii a high five for her good idea:
It can be difficult to get even this small number of people to smile for the camera, but I think we got a few decent shots:
Considering we had to use the timer function, these really turned out pretty great. Andrew set up each shot and then ran to join us in the picture. Please enjoy these stills that capture Andrew coming to a screeching halt with the group, then falling over as he says, "Everybody smile!"
We had a pleasant evening visiting with each other. Even Auntie Abra called and got to talk to everyone (of course, later that evening she then made an(other) attempt to unalive herself, which kind of put a damper on everything, though fortunately she texted Kelli to tell her about it and we were able to contact Deklan to call the police to conduct a wellness check and then they called an ambulance and she ended up in the hospital for several days...and I realize that's not really my story to tell but honestly although I know she's not okay (and we're trying to help her get the help she needs, trust me), the whole situation is making everybody else feel rather not okay as well, so to that end it is part of my story).
Here's Miss Zoë saying goodby to Auntie K. She'll sure miss getting spoiled! Auntie K is so much fun!
Today I just thought it was important that I get these group pictures of my family up, sine I know that my mom doesn't have copies of them yet. My dad isn't feeling well today, either, so perhaps these can be a little pick-me-up to help take minds off things (though also, I feel like my mind—and therefore writing—is very much on things, so perhaps it won't take minds off things after all).